Dearest mom in the trenches, I know it’s hard. I’m nodding with you as I hear you say your day has become a speeding blur of busy. School time, playtime, naptime, taxi-time. You’re going going going from sunup to sundown.
In fact, I want to commend you on all the amazing caretaking you are doing throughout your day. The coaching. The coaxing. The endless cleaning. Yes, your day and your plate are full. Blessed, yes, but still very full.
I know too that sometimes fullness turns into overwhelmed-ness. And it can become quite easy to look at tomorrow with lustful longing … while viewing today with discontented frustration and angst.
So regardless of your current reality, I thought maybe we could all use a little encouragement to settle into the present with joy. Let’s begin this season of gratefulness with a little love for the right here and right now.
Here are a few things I think might help us along the way:
1. Say goodbye to distraction. (And no, that does not mean your children.) It’s time to do a little end-of-the-year prioritizing and sort through those things that sidetrack, pushing aside any obstacles that keep us from focusing on what’s most important. Could be unhealthy choices. Expectations. Or plain ol’ busyness. Maybe it’s social media, magazines, television, or movies. But get out the scales and ask yourself: does it bring gratitude or birth despair? If it diverts from contentedness, say au revoir, and be done with it for a while. Distraction will always be waiting if you desire to return to it.
2. Don’t give in to disillusionment. It takes great discipline to stop and smell the roses. But when we relish in the gift of the now, we can rein in any precarious wayward emotions before they begin cruising down the highway toward Tomorrowland. You’ve probably heard many a mom say, these days will be gone before you know it. And let’s be honest; sometimes we wish these days would just disappear. But longing for tomorrow comes at the cost of losing out on today. And that’s a beauty we can’t afford to miss!
3. Dare to be different. Have you ever experienced the fulfillment that comes from working out of your God-given passions and not just your desired sweet spots? You may wish you were wired differently, but God has created you with a unique bent all your own. When we marvel at how the Master has made us and operate from the overflow, there is a fullness and completeness that discouragement cannot touch.
4. Kick out discontentment. Trust me, discontentment is not your friend! As much as you may want to look at that lovely grass on the other side of the fence, please don’t. It will only foster pain. And envy. And did I mention pain? Plus, comparison totally robs us of contentment. And contentment is the fire that fuels our ability to rely on God in our right now life.
5. Make room for discipleship. When we remember we are disciples of Jesus, everything else begins to shift. And as we soak in God’s Word and spend time in prayer, we find eye-opening clarity and refreshing perspective. We learn to lean in to the comfort of Christ, finding a security there that the world cannot give. We discover total trust – in His plans, His purposes, and His perfect timing. Our anxiousness begins to dissipate, and rest remains in its place. And trust me, rest is incredibly valuable in unearthing a love for the here and now.
So dear mom in the trenches, I know these things are not a magic cure-all for finding hope in the midst of every hardship. And some days you may struggle to just make it through without tears. But if we can, as the apostle Paul did, find contentment in whatever state we find ourselves in, the beauty of the now becomes more and more apparent.
Let’s lay aside those longings for yesterday and those yearnings for tomorrow. The fingerprints of God are already here … if we only have eyes to see them. And where the fingerprints of God are seen, there is love. Bloodstained and grace-filled. A right here, right now kind of love. Perfect for your right now life.